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Mark Payne-Gill

Lighting Cameraman

Bristol, United Kingdom

Over the course of my 20 year career I have worked on natural history films in more than 40 countries. As director of photography I have gained a unique range of skills in film and video styles/techniques. My experience includes working on 35mm feature films, drama productions and commercials. I am experienced in presenter and verity sync shooting, interior & exterior lighting, drama reconstructions and of course pure natural history.

Credits and Experience


BBC NHU/Discovery Channel. 7x 60 mins.TX 2014. Landmark bluechip series. Indepth portrait of animal survival strategies at different life stages from birth to reproduction.Red Epic, Varicam P2, Phantom HD


Brian Leith Productions/River Road Films co-pro: For Terramata & CBC. 4 x 60mins. Landmark 4 part bluechip series. An historical portrait of Canada’s landscape, wildlife & people. Red Epic. Delivery End 2013


Sync and specialist cameraman on the longest running show. Presenter lead series with 5 presenters/reporters bring up to date astronomy news and features. Involving conventional shooting styles along with infra-red, starlight, time-lapse and astro video cameras delivering real views of space through amateur telescopes

Wild Alaska (HD)

1x 60 minutes. Intimate portrait of Alaskan wildlife. Filming major sequence of Brown Bears catching Salmon with Wolves. Varicam P2, Arri Alexa & Red Epic. Delivery March 2013


6x 60 minutes. Landmark natural history series on Africa. My contribution included the Springbok pronking behaviour in the Cape programme. Varicam P2, Phantom HD.

Stargazing Live 2012 & 2013 (HD)

3x 60minute Live. Professor Brian Cox, Dara O Briain & Liz Bonnin hosting live stargazing from UK and the Karoo in South Africa, home to one of the largest telescopes on Earth. Using HD Starlight cameras and speciialist HD astro video cameras for live views from telescopes. I was the DOP for the South Africa OB with Liz Bonnin presenting. Shooting all the pre-recorded VT’s, and operating Live cameras during the broadcast as well as shooting with PMW 500, timelapse and filming through telescopes

(Animal Einsteins) Super Smart Animals (HD)

2 x 60 minutes. An exploration of intelligence in the animal kingdom. Filming the latest scientific discoveries & using extraordinary examples it reveals how we are pushing the boundaries of our understanding & definition of animal intelligence. I filmed the sync sequences and specific natural history behavioural stories. Presented by Liz Bonnin. Sony PMW500.Animal Einsteins) Super Smart Animals(HD)

Secrets of Our Living Planet (HD)

4 x 60 min series. For the first time a series that explores in depth, ecosystems and the astonishing relationship between wildlife and its habitat.Combining ‘blue chip’ with sync.I filmed a large part of the wildlife/scientist sequences for Forests and Waterworlds. Presented by Chris Packham Filming with P2 Varicam.

Wild Planet: North America(HD)

7x 60 minutes series. Landmark natural history series on North America. I filmed a number of sequences on the Prairies and Forests programmes. Varicam P2, Phantom HD.

Frozen Planet

HD 7x60mins. Varicam & Digital timelapse, filming aurora & rocket sequence in programme 7

Invisible Worlds

4x60mins.(HD) Varicam 3x 60mins. A unique look with special filming techniques into the hidden realms where our eyes can not see. Filming sync sequences. Presented by Richard Hammond

The One Show BBC1

TX daily, x30mins. Specialist cameraman filming variety of wildlife insert stories with presenters for this popular ‘magazine’ programme. Multi format sequences filmed with Sony PMW500 & VaricamP2, Photron, Starlight,Infra-Red, fibre optic cameras.

Natural World: Butterflies 'A very british obsession'

Unique documentary about our past & present obsession with butterflies. Inspired by my childhood collecting and breeding butterflies I filmed this over 2 years between 2009 & 2010. A stylish film that provides an intriguing window on contemporary British culture as seen through the eyes of passionate artists, scientists and the British public, setting out to reignite our appreciation of their worth in terms of beauty and importance in understanding the threats posed by climate change. Panasonic


John Downer Productions/BBC. 6 part series filmed in every continent following the migration of birds and the spectacles they encounter on route. Using new techniques & the latest HD technology.Filming with RED ONE cameras, Phantom HD, Photron SA2 High Speed, Sony EX1.

Decade of Discovery

BBC NHU (HD). 1x60mins. Presented by Chris Packham. Sync cameraman. Varicam.

Animals Guide To Britain (HD)

4x60mins British series presented by Chris Packham. Varicam/photron/ Infra Red

3D Peregrines

Field testing 3D camera systems for natural history filming.

Bill Bailey's Birdwatching Bonanza

Sky One, HD. 6x 60mins. Sync & wildlife cameraman. Entertainment programme as opposed to factual documentary. A mix of comedy & natural history with celebrity guests...'Springwatch' meets 'Never mind the Buzzcocks'!


Recorded Picture Company / BBC Films - Cinematic release September 2009 Second Unit/Wildlife DOP filming 35mm the main natural history sequences, which are weaved throughout the film Based on the book ‘Annies Box’ by Randal Keynes Creation is part ghost story, part psychological thriller, part heart-wrenching love story. It is the story of Charles Darwin and the single most explosive idea in history. Torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world wher

Inside the Perfect Predator

BBC1, NHU A 60 minute special taking an inside & detailed look at the physiology of 4 top predators; peregrine, cheetah, crocodile & shark. A conceptual programme pushing the boundaries of current & future technology and employing ambitious special FX techniques, including experimenting with 3D technology. Panasonic Varicam DVCPro, NAC HD Memory Cam, HD Photron SA2 High Speed, Time-Slice, 3D HD.

The One Show

BBC1 TX:Daily Specialist cameraman filming variety of wildlife insert stories with presenters for this popular ‘magazine’ programme. Multi format sequences filmed with Sony DSR450 DVCam, Starlight,Infra-Red, fibre optic cameras


BBC NHU / Discovery Contributor cameraman employing high speed Phantom HD, Super 16 and Varicam, long lens and macro filming. A natural history series about Extreme Behaviour. Visually exciting stories using ground breaking photography set in the context of spectacular landscapes. Filmed in HD.

South Pacific

BBC NHU / Discovery. (HD) This landmark series explores the sheer scale and majesty of the largest ocean on Earth, the isolation of its islands, the extraordinary journeys wildlife and humans have gone through to reach these specks of land, and what happened to both after their arrival.

Skellig. Feel Films...Sky TV

An HD originated production with Tim Roth taking the title role in an adaptation of David Almond’s Whitbread award-winning children’s book. Released for TV & Cinema Spring 2009. It’s the magical tale of a young boy, Michael, and his friendship with the enigmatic Skellig, who may or may not be an angel. John Simm and Kelly MacDonald, play Michael’s parents. As with ‘Pelican Blood’, I was brought in to shoot the specialist Starling roosts which feature in the title sequence and throughout the film.

'Swarm, Nature's Incredible Invasions'

John Downer Productions. 2x 60 mins. Swarm ventures into the very heart of amazing natural phenomena. Incredible high-speed shots from inside swarms reveals how they view our world. Real-life footage from TV cameras, mobile phones and camcorders relives the moment when swarms invade our lives. I filmed a selection of the stories over both programmes including bees, jumping fish, fire ants, mice & starlings to name a few.

Natural World 'Cuckoo'

Principle cameraman.(Super16mm) A unique and charming film. New photography is combined with archive footage and the latest scientific findings to solve a puzzle which, as narrator David Attenborough explains, has perplexed nature-watchers for thousands of years.

Wild Carribean

BBC NHU - Super 16mm 3 part series Natural History & Documentary Cameraman

The Meerkats

BBC Films/Weinstein corporation. 2007 Principle DOP, wildlife feature film for cinematic release 2008. 3 perf 35mm/ Super 16 / Infra Red Video, shot in 2,35:1 cinemascope.

The Nature of Britain

BBC NHU. 2006-2007 Principle wildlife & sync cameraman for Alan Titchmarsh’s latest Wildlife series. Super 16mm/Infra Red video.

Natural World Badgers

Andrew Cooper Productions/BBC NHU. 2007. A year round study of a badger set in Devon. Super 16 / HD.

Springwatch & Autumnwatch

BBC NHU 2005-2009.Live broadcast series. wildlife & sync cameraman. Digibeta, DVcam, IR video, remote cameras.

Jungle Book

John Downer Productions. 2006. Contributary cameraman. Studio. 35mm feature film, in developmemt. 35mm & HD.

Planet Earth

BBC/Discovery. 2005. BBC’s Iconic wildlife spectacle. Contributing cameraman on ‘Shallow Seas’ & ‘Great Plains’. Super 16.

Return of the Eagle Owl

BBC NHU, Natural World. 2005 Principal cameraman. Investigative wildlife documentary about the discovery of an established pair of breeding Eagle owls in Yorkshire, after a 200 year absence. How they arrived and the implications for native wildlife. Super 16mm / Low light night filming.

Incredible Journeys ‘Wild Goose Chase’

BBC NHU/Discovery. 2004 Contributing cameraman. Presenter lead show with Steve Leonard. Following bar headed geese on migration across the Himalayas. Involving micro light air to air video. Super 16 / DVcam.

Corwins Quest

Tigress/Discovery. Contributing cameraman. 2005 Presenter lead quirky wildlife behaviour series. HD production.

Trial & Retribution

La Plante Productions. 2005. HTV Drama. Specialist sync & wildlife filming. Super16.

Time Machine

BBC NHU. 2003 Contributing cameraman. Concept series exploring time perspectives in natural history. Special FX , lighting, & aerial cameraman. Super 16.

Animal Camera

BBC NHU / Discovery. 2003. Contributary cameraman. Steve Leonard presenter lead series using remote & minature cameras to show life from an animal’s point of view. Super 16, I/R video, DV Cam.

Dragonflies ‘Beauty or Beast’

BBC NHU. Wildlife-on-One. 2004 Principal cameraman. Portrait of the Emperor Dragonfly’s life cycle. Combining conventional & special FX filming techniques. Super 16.

Monitor Lizard ‘Africa’s Greatest Thief’

BBC NHU, Wildlife-on-One. 2003. Principal cameraman. A behavioural study of the Nile Monitor in South Africa. Super 16.

Squirrels ‘Are They Tough Enough’

BBC NHU. Wildlife-on-One. 2003. Principal cameraman. A quirky look at the character of the grey squirrel.Super 16.

Peregrine ‘ Nature’s Top Gun’

BBC NHU, Wildlife-on-One. 2002. Principal cameraman. A study of the fastest creature on earth & the parallels with modern fighter aircraft. Winner: 2004 Best Film Festival de l’Oiseau et de la Nature. Super 16.

Citizen Cane Toad

BBC NHU. Wildlife-on-One. 2001. Principal cameraman. Documentary about Cane Toad behaviour, their invasion across Queensland and the impact on native wildlife. Super 16.

Pelicans: Taking the Plunge

BBC NHU. Wildlife-on-One. 2000. Principal cameraman. How a young pelican has to learn the ultimate fishing technique of plunge diving, no mean feat as the human plunge divers of Mexico discover. Super 16. Best cinematography nomination Jacksonhole wildlife film festival. 2001 Winner: 2002, Best Film. Festival de l’Oiseau et de la Nature.

The British Isles; A Natural History with Alan Titchmarsh.

BBC NHU. Contributing cameraman. Presenter lead documentary exploring the geological and natural history of the British Isles. Sync & Wildlife cameraman. Super 16 / Infra Red Video.

The Rocket Post

Ultimate Pictures. 2003 War Drama. Directed by S.Whittaker. Specialist wildlife photography for drama feature film. Super 35mm.

Weird Nature

John Downer Productions/BBC 2002. Contributing cameraman. Concept series using specialised photography techniques exploring strange animal behaviour. Best cinematography joint nomination Emmy’s New York 2003.

Operation Migration

BBC NHU. Natural World. 2002, Contributing cameraman. Documentary about how an organisation is saving the whooping crane from extinction. This follows newly hatched chicks trained to follow a flying machine and then taught to migrate south for the winter. Super 16 / remote air to air video.

Life of Mammals

BBC NHU/Discovery. 2002. Contributing cameraman. Attenborough presented behavioural series, contributing cameraman. Bafta best cinematography joint nomination 2003. Super 16.

Without Motive

HTV & Alibi Productions. 2nd Unit Camera. Detective drama starring Ross Kemp, directed by James Hawes. Super 16mm.


BBC NHU/Discovery. 2000. Contributing cameraman. A detailed look at the relationship between predator & prey and expanding the crucial moments preceding a kill. Super 16 & 35mm high speed. Best cinematography joint nomination Emmy’s New York 2001.

Giants with Nigel Marven

HTV/Discovery. 1999.Principle cameraman Presenter lead series looking at the largest animals of different groups. Super 16.

Living Britain

BBC NHU. 1999. Contributary cameraman. British wildlife series for the millennium.

Life of Birds

BBC NHU/Discovery. 1997. Contributary cameraman. David Attenborough Bird behaviour series 16mm

Triumphs of Life

Green Umbrella/National Geographic. 1998. Evolution series. Contributary Cameraman. Super16

The Farm That Time Forgot

Natural World. Andrew Cooper prodns/BBC NHU. 1998. Principal Cameraman. Charming film about an organic farm using pre war farming methods and the wildlife that thrives, amongst a sea of intensive agriculture. Super 16

Oman: Jewel of Arabia

Natural World. OSF/ BBC NHU. 1997 Principal cameraman. Portrait of Oman’s Wildlife & landscape. 16 mm

Incredible Journey’s

BBC NHU/Discovery. 1997. Principal Cameraman on A Swallows Odyssey an Eels Quest. Series looking at individual animal migration stories. 16mm

Africa’s Deadly Dozen

Tigress Productions/ Nat Geographic. 1999. Conributary sync cameraman. Encounters with South Africa’s deadliest snakes with drama reconstructions. Super16.

Wild Indonesia

Tigress Productions/ Nat Geographic. 1997. Contributary sync cameraman. 3 part series. Documentary portrait of Indonesia’s landscape, people & wildlife. Super 16


Image Impact/Discovery. 1997. Contributary lighting & sync cameraman. Historical space documentary about the evolution of spacecraft. Super 16mm

Watch Out/Nature Detectives

BBC NHU. 1995/6. Contributory sync cameraman. Magazine style programmes about British wildlife, with various presenters including Simon King & Michaela Strachen. 16mm.

Really Wild Show

BBC NHU. 1994/5. Contributory sync & Nat hist cameraman. Iconic children’s wildlife show. Beta SP

The Man Who Built the Ark

BBC NHU. 1995. Contributary sync & natural history cameraman. Tribute documentary about Gerald Durrell & the work the Jersey Wildlife Trust. 16mm

KLM Airlines Commercial

Chips Films. KLM Airlines 4 x 10secs

Duschdas Milk & Silk Commercial

Chips Films. Duschdas Milk & Silk, shampoo. Contributary cameraman. 1x 30secs

Dutch Railways Commercial

Chips Films. Dutch Railways. 1x 40 secs

Bristol Zoo Commercial

McCann Erikson. Bristol Zoo. 4 x 10 secs

RSPB Commercial

McCann Erikson. RSPB. Contributary cameraman. 1 x 30secs


telephone: +44 (0)1275 855801

mobile: +44 (0)7768 692166




16mm,  35mm,  3D,  Aerial,  Animal Behaviour,  Arri Alexa,  Birds in Flight,  Blue/Green screen,  Cinemicrography,  Documentary,  DV camera operation,  DVCAM,  Extreme Environments (arctic, desert, mountain),  Extreme Locations,  Field Craft,  Film/Tape,  HD,  Hide Work,  High Speed/Slow Motion,  Image Intensifier,  Infra Red,  Jib and Dolly,  Long Lens,  Low Light,  Macro/Studio,  Motion Control,  Night Filming,  Periscopes,  Polar Regions,  Probe Lenses,  Probescopes,  RED ONE,  Remote Camera Trap,  Reptiles,  Set Building,  Slo-motion film & digital,  Slow Motion,  Special FX,  Stills Photography,  Studio & exterior day & night lighting,  Sync Shooting,  Timelapse,  Wild/Dangerous animals,  Wilderness experience.


Arri HSR3 Super 16 Camera,  Ladder Dolly,  Time lapse intervolometer,  Arri Magazines x3,  Prime distagon lenses from 8mm- 25mm,  Zeiss T*2 10-100 zoom lens,  5.5/6.5 mm Aspheron wide angle lens,  Canon 300 f 2.8 + 2x lens,  Canon 150-600mm f5.6 Lens,  Straightscope / probescope lenses,  45 deg & 90 deg. periscopes,  Macro lenses,  Various hides,  Various Sachtler tripods & heads,  Red Head & Blonde lighting kits,  Various grip equipment,  Fibre-optic lights,  Libec JB30 jib arm,  Vehicle mount,  Digital time lapse kit,  Sony V1 HD/DVcam Camcorder,  Nikon 105mm Macro,  Macro extension tubes, Bellows, canon microscope lenses,  TV Logic 5.6" WP HD field monitor,  Motorola radios x3,  ATOMOS Samurai hard disc recorder with Apple Pro res HQ/Avid DNxHD codecs,  90mm Tamron Macro lenses x3,  ARRI Locaster LED Panel light with adjustable colour temperature control.